The lightest material in the world is made of hollow carbon nanotubes.The lightest material in the world is made of hollow carbon nanotubes.A team from the Technical University of Hamburg and Germany’s University of Kiel has developed a new material composed of 0.01% carbon structures by volume. The remaining structure is air. The material, dubbed aerographite, has a density of less than 0.2 mg/cm 3. The next lightest material, metallic microlattice, has a density of 0.9 mg/cm 3.


Aerographite consists of hollow carbon nanotubes grown into each other to create a network. It can be compressed by a factor of a thousand and still spring back to its original size. The new material is created using a one-step process and zinc oxide templates which lets blocks of the material grow in various shapes and sizes. The carbon is electrically conductive and chemical-resistant, which could yield applications in batteries and electronics.

 

More information: Technical University of Hamburg